Toxic Friends

Everyone has one. Everyone knows about them. That person in your life that you could probably do better without. That person who irritates the hell out of you one moment, then makes you laugh the next. Let me tell you how it usually all goes down…

The friendship usually starts out great. Share some laughs over coffee, give each other advice over dinner. Share some inside jokes, gossip a little about the friends you have in common. Hell, even get blitzed on one too many drinks together while out for cocktails. All seems fine and dandy, you’ve made a great new friend! Then, things start to change.

All of a sudden, you start getting stood up for that coffee date you planned a week ago. All of a sudden, you’re paying the full bill for dinner and drinks, after hearing some excuse or other about being short on cash. You seem to be the only one who remembers why that joke was funny. You go out of your way to make this person happy, hoping things will go back to normal soon. They don’t seem to notice. The friendship starts to feel very one-sided – you’re doing all the giving, they’re doing all the taking. There is no longer an equal partnership, an understanding of the friendship no longer exists.

Over time, interacting with this person feels like a chore. It gives you a headache. You groan a little when you see a text message from this person. Your stomach feels uneasy at the prospect of getting stood up on that coffee date yet again. You realize that this person has been gossiping about you with others. You hear whispers of your conversations – such conversations you thought were confidential. You even hear a false rumour or two floating around about you. Intimate details of your life are now public knowledge, and you realize only that person would know this about you.

However, the thought of letting them go, taking them out of your life, seems so very daunting. Remember all those laughs you had? The good times in the beginning? What about those times they actually did show up for the planned coffee date? All those good things outweigh the bad, don’t they? Throwing all that away just isn’t worth it, right? Right?

If any of this sounds remotely familiar, then you have been the victim of a toxic friend, or “frenemy”, as is the term coined in popular culture. Congratulations! You’ve been had.

I have had many years of experience dealing with toxic people. They lurk every where, waiting to pray on the vulnerable. And let me tell you, it majorly sucks.

This person is (usually) incapable of experiencing basic human emotion. They are only out for themselves – a survival of the fittest type of mentality. If they can find a way to use you for their own personal gain, they will. They will take all they can get, and barter to gain more. Of course, to be able to do this, they get into your good graces first, they earn your trust. Remember all those good times in the beginning? It’s all for naught, it is all simply a ruse to hook you.

A toxic person is absolutely incapable of acknowledging how they hurt people. They have no concept that what they are doing is wrong and harmful. In essence, they don’t particularly care, so long as they get what they’re after, they will be happy as clams.

It is these traits that make them toxic. They are harmful to your well-being. Stress levels increase. Irritation levels increase. These escalate to all out anger. You rack your brain trying to figure out what went wrong, what you did wrong, why this person turned on you. It is not your fault. This person has no capacity to be a good person. Your best bet is to notice the signs, and get this person out of your life as soon as possible.

This is a lesson I am just learning now. As I’m sure you have noticed, I am writing with extreme bitterness. I am just coming out of a friendship with yet another toxic person. They’re crafty, these people. And they know how to get you. Watch for the signs. Get out as fast as you can. Be wary.

As for me, I vow not to let this happen to me again. It may mean being way less trusting than is in my nature, but if it saves my sanity, it has to be done. As soon as I see signs of a toxic person, I will high-tail it out of there. I will no longer be a victim of a toxic person.

I fear that I am just an end.
So you play the mistaken, and I’ll play the victim in our screenplay of desire.
I’m still writing the letters I’ll never send.
~ UnderOath – Young and Aspiring


~ by Aubrey Smith on June 29, 2011.

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